NEWPORT, R.I. (February 1, 2020) – The Western New England University men's basketball team overcame an 18 point second half deficit to top Salve Regina, 81-79, in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action on Saturday afternoon at the Rodgers Recreation Center.
Senior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) led the Golden Bear offense with 23 points. Junior forward Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) added 22 points, while sophomore forward Kenny Flynn (Dudley, Mass.) provided 16 points off the bench.
Junior guard Kevin Kelly (Valhalla, N.Y.) led the Seahawks with 20 points, while junior forward Cameron Collins (Oakdale, Conn.) added 17 points.
The Seahawks came out strong to begin the game, taking an early 13-6 lead after four and half minutes off a free throw from Kelly. The Golden Bears cut the lead down to three after a pair of free throws from Flynn midway through the first half.
With the score at 17-14 in favor of the Seahawks with 11:51 remaining in the half, Salve Regina went on an 18-7 over the next five minutes to extend their lead to 14. The Golden Bears answered with a 6-0 run to cut the lead down to eight. The Seahawks pushed their lead back to 12 just before halftime after Richards made a layup with one second left to give Salve Regina a 41-29 lead going into the second half.
The Seahawks extended their lead to 18 by going on an 11-5 run over the first four minutes of the second half. A free throw by Tavitian with 13:30 remaining in the game cut the lead down to 12. Salve Regina answered by pushing the lead back to 16.
The Seahawks held a 74-63 lead with 4:26 remaining in the game. The Golden Bears ripped off a 18-5 run to finish the game and complete the comeback. McGuire hit a 3-pointer with 0:39 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one. Junior guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) hit a pair of free throws with 0:11 remaining to put the Golden Bears ahead 80-79. The Western New England defense forced a turnover on the ensuing possession and sealed the come from behind victory.
• The 18 point comeback is the largest comeback of the season for the Golden Bears.
Western New England (12-8) will host Gordon on Wednesday evening. Salve Regina (8-11) will go on the road to take on Roger Williams on Wednesday evening.